Evaluation of thyromental height as a predictor of difficult laryngoscopy and difficult intubation: a cross-sectional observational study
Background and objectives
Several anthropometric measurements have been suggested to identify a potentially difficult airway. We studied thyromental height (TMH) as a predictor of difficult laryngoscopy and difficult intubation. We also compared TMH, ratio of height to thyromental distance (RHTMD), and thyromental distance (TMD) as predictors of difficult airway.
This cross-sectional observational study was conducted in 300 adult surgical patients requiring tracheal intubation. Preoperatively airway characteristics were assessed. Standard anesthesia was administered. Degree of difficulty with mask ventilation, laryngoscopic view, duration of laryngoscopy, and difficulty in tracheal intubation (intubation difficulty scale score) were noted. Multivariate logistics regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors for difficult laryngoscopy.
Laryngoscopy was difficult in 46 of 300 (15.3%) patients; all 46 patients had Cormack-Lehane grade 3 view. Duration of laryngoscopy was 27 ± 11 s in patients with difficult laryngoscopy and 12.7 ± 3.9 s in easy laryngoscopy; p = 0.001. Multivariate analysis identified that TMH, presence of short neck, and history of snoring were independently associated with difficult laryngoscopy. Incidence of difficult intubation was 17.0%. A shorter TMH was associated with higher IDS scores; r = -0.16, p = 0.001. TMH and duration of laryngoscopy were found to be negatively correlated; a shorter TMH was associated with a longer duration of laryngoscopy; r = -0.13, p = 0.03. The cut-off threshold value for TMH in our study is 4.4 cm with a sensitivity of 66% and a specificity of 54%.
Thyromental height predicts difficult laryngoscopy and difficult intubation.
TMD and RHTMD did not prove to be useful as predictors of difficult airway.